When SpongeBob is struck with amnesia and drifts from Bikini Bottom, his friends fear that they’ve lost their pal forever, in an all-new, half-hour television special, SpongeBob SquarePants’ “WhoBob WhatPants?,” premiering Monday, Oct. 13, from 8:00 to 8:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon. SpongeBob wanders the ocean, a stranger in his own pants, until he encounters the leader of the dangerous Bubble Poppin’ Boys, voiced by Ray Liotta (Goodfellas), and accidentally becomes a hero. Prior to the special, Nickelodeon will present a four-hour SpongeBob SquarePants marathon from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT).
To celebrate this special on-air event, Nick.com will present a new Game of the Week, “SpongeBob SquarePants: WhoBob WhatPants?,” beginning Thursday, Oct. 2. Players must help a confused SpongeBob as he tries to escape from a tough gang called the Bubble Poppin’ Boys who enforce a strict no-bubble policy. Nick.com will also feature a custom video player, links to additional SpongeBob SquarePants games, a special message board thread and a page of downloadable wallpapers, screensaver, printables and buddy icons.
In the half-hour special “WhoBob WhatPants?,” Bikini Bottom’s most beloved sponge goes missing and his distraught friends set out to search the ocean for him. Unaware of his true identity, SpongeBob wanders into rough New Kelp City where he encounters and inadvertently defeats the leader of the ruthless Bubble Poppin’ Gang (voiced by Ray Liotta). Relieved and grateful that they no longer have to live in fear, the New Kelp residents appoint SpongeBob their new Mayor. Will SpongeBob remember who he really is and return to Bikini Bottom with his friends, or will he stay to enjoy his newfound celebrity in New Kelp City forever?
Beginning Friday, Oct. 3, TurboNick will feature a special playlist of content dedicated to “WhoBob WhatPants?,” including a sneak-peek of the special, themed episodes, short-form content, song clips and an Instant Replay of the special following the television premiere. Nick’s wireless platforms will feature the two-minute sneak-peek, short-form content and song clips, and October’s video-on-demand offering will feature the sneak-peek, themed episodes and short-form content.
SpongeBob’s “WhoBob WhatPants?” will be released on DVD on Tuesday, Oct. 14, and will also include five episodes from Season Five and four original animated shorts.
Currently in its sixth season, SpongeBob SquarePants has emerged as a pop-culture phenomenon and one of the most popular series in kids’ television history. It has been the number-one animated program with Kids 2-11 for more than six consecutive years and its Saturday morning airing ranks as the top-rated program on television among Kids 2-11. Adult viewers also continue to tune in and have increased by 121% since the premiere of the show in July 1999 (Nielsen Media Research, based on A18-34 (000), September 2008 vs. July 1999, all SB telecasts combined). Nearly 70 million viewers watch SpongeBob SquarePants monthly (Nielsen Media Research, May 2008).
The most widely distributed property in MTV Networks’ history, SpongeBob SquarePants is syndicated in 171 markets in 25 languages and is among the top rated kids’ shows, across broadcast and cable, in every major television market around the world.
SpongeBob SquarePants is executive produced by creator Stephen Hillenburg, who previously worked as a writer, director and creative director on Nickelodeon’s animated series Rocko’s Modern Life. Hillenburg graduated from the California Institute of the Arts with a master’s degree in experimental animation and studied marine biology and art as an undergraduate. Hillenburg created and executive produced The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie which hit theaters in November 2004.
Paul Tibbitt served as a director and writer on SpongeBob SquarePants for its first three seasons and is currently executive producer. He wrote some of the show’s most memorable episodes such as “Ripped Pants” and “Mermaid Man & Barnacle Boy.” Tibbitt was one of the co-writers and storyboard artists on The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. SpongeBob SquarePants is a Nicktoons Production and is produced at the Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank, Calif.
Nickelodeon, now in its 29th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, magazines and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 96 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 14 consecutive years. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).